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FAST Welcomes Results Of Intellectual Property Crime Report Findings

The Federation Against Software Theft : 05 August, 2010  (Company News)
Annual Government report on intellectual property theft demonstrates the extent of the crime with millions of items having been seized by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs during the last year.
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has welcomed the latest Annual IP Crime Report findings, which has revealed the true extent of the fight against intellectual property (IP) theft.

HMRC seized over 2100 consignments containing four million items during 2009/10. The goods had a staggering estimated value of £40 million, based on the price of the genuine item.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive, FAST commented: "The government's report lays bare the ongoing battle against IP theft here in the UK. These statistics reflect just how serious an issue it is and more so, the extent to which IP theft has spiralled out of control to become today's 'norm', which in itself is a disgrace."

Last week, addresses across England and Wales were raided as part of an investigation into the importation and distribution of fake branded clothing. The raids on Wednesday 21st July followed a lengthy investigation by Rhondda Cynon Taff Trading Standards with support from other Trading Standards, police, the UK Border Agency and the IPO's Intelligence Hub.

FAST has also been working closely with Trading Standards across the country recently conducting a high profile raid on a local man in Swansea alleged to have been selling pirated software on Gumtree, the network of online classifieds and community websites.

The anti-piracy raid, using robust powers granted under section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, was supported by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), who assisted with the investigation.

John added: "IP theft is a major threat to the British economy and action needs to be taken. Too often we see these issues swept under the carpet, as people foolishly perceive that businesses are making enough money to carry this loss. This is simply outrageous and definitely not the case with passionate and innovative companies dedicating huge amounts of time and money behind the scenes in order to bring revolutionary products to market."

"If IP theft is allowed to continue, we will most certainly see a rapid decline in British innovation and start-up companies, as businesses will no longer be able to sustain this loss and could be unable to secure finance to trade. It goes without saying that the knock on effect will sadly be a steep decline in creative jobs," John warned.

"The real key to beating this threat is the public. People need to realise that it is not acceptable to take sales from legitimate businesses and put jobs in danger. People need to alert representative organisations, trading standards or police."

The IP Crime Report was produced by the IPO's IP Crime Group, which consists of government, enforcement agencies and industry groups, which includes FAST.
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